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favorite Indian vegetable side dish?

  • k

I'm having an Indian themed dinner party next week and am looking for a tasty vegetable side dish. The rest of the menu seems pretty starchy (naan, rice, samosas, mini papadums, a spicy shrimp dish, desserts) so I was hoping for something with some lighter veggies (i.e. not potatoes, etc...) Maybe green beans? Not sure if all the guest will enjoy okra, which seems to be popular in Indian cuisine. Any recipes/ideas appreciated. Thanks.

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  1. I really like saag paneer, spinach and paneer cheese in a spicy herby sauce.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Candy

      I absolutely agree, an Indian meal is just not complete for me without it.

    2. Aloo Gobi, easy on the califlower or you could say heavy on the potatoes, very spicy! I am going to try the recipe from the DVD extra features on Bend it Like Beckham. A classic where the films director is 'supervised' by her aunties while she prepares this dish.

      1. I often make green beans with coconut--
        Saute green beans in a bit of oil. When nearly done, add a healthy amount of minced garlic (I use 3-4 big cloves), about 1/4 cup of shredded (unsweetened) coconut, and red pepper flakes to taste (this amount of coconut is for our family of 4, about 1 lb beans). Cook till the coconut and garlic is golden.

        1. I make the roasted eggplant...of course cannot remember the name but it is often served with peas. If you need a recipe I can find mine for you, it is delicious!

          1 Reply
          1. re: 4chowpups

            do pass it along; i'd love to try it!

          2. You don't say how you are fixing the shrimp, but if it doesn't have tomatoes in it, I have a delicious recipe for green beans that has ginger, garlic, tomatoes, spices and lots of lemon juice in it. I also have a simple green bean recipe with mustard seeds, garlic, and hot chili flakes. If you'd like either, please post a request and I'll be happy to help.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Terrie H.

              I would love both those recipes, please!!

            2. Personally, I LOVE the okra. But I know not many people do, so...

              I second the eggplant; or, you could do sautéed cabbage with mustard seeds, garlic and tumeric.

              Or that really creamy peas and mushroom coconut curry that's on every Northern Indian menu.


              1. I had okra as a side last night, with lamb vindaloo and potato aloo. A simple, but very tasty dish you could substitute greens beans for okra in:

                1 tbs ghee
                1 tbs peanut oil (or all ghee, this just reduces cholesterol whilst maintaining taste)
                1 medium onion, sliced
                1 lb okra or green beans trimed and cut into 1/2 inch lengths at the diagonal
                1 tsp turmeric powder
                salt to taste

                Heat oil and ghee in frypan, add onions and fry until light golden, but not browned. Sprinkle heaped teaspoon of tumeric over and gently fry for a minute, then add okra or beans and salt. Turn heat right down and cook gently for 20 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.

                It doesn't sound much, but this is a wonderful side dish for an Indian main. For my taste, the slight 'sliminess' that the okra adds is a plus. Cheers.

                1. i often make both the okra and the green beans with coconut described on this board (tho i add mustard seeds, asafoetida, and cumin to the green beans, not garlic) and both are great.

                  personally, if you are making shrimp curry i would go with the green beans, as i think the coconut in the dish would be a nice counterpoint.

                  1. I think I'm going to do the coconut green beans as they will complement the rest of my menu.

                    I am making a shrimp dish with tomatoes:

                    Prawns Bhuna Masala (Prawns in a thick, spicy sauce) -
                    my favorite dish from Ajanta restaurant in Berkeley, CA. It is the best Indian restaurant I have ever eaten at and their cookbook just came out a few months ago. Here's a summary of the recipe:

                    1/4 C oil
                    2 tsp. mustard seeds
                    3-4 red chilis broken into 1/4 inch pieces
                    2 inch piece of ginger, chopped
                    8-10 medium cloves garlic, chopped
                    2 medium onions, chopped
                    4 medium tomatoes 1/4 inch dice
                    1-2 green chiles, seeded & chopped
                    3 tsp coriander seeds, ground or pounded w/ a pestle
                    1 1/2 tsp salt
                    1 tsp tumeric
                    2 tsp paprika
                    1/2 - 2 tsp hot chile pepper powder
                    2 tsp ajwain
                    1 1/2 Tbsp dried fenugreek herb
                    2 lbs jumbo shrimp, peeled & deveined
                    3 Tbsp lemon juice
                    1/2 C chopped cilantro

                    Heat oil, and when hot add mustard seeds, red chiles, ginger, garlic. Stir & saute 30sec.

                    Add onions and saute 10 minutes over high heat until soft. Add tomatoes & stir fry 4-5 min. Reduce to medium, add green chiles, coriander, salt, tumeric, paprika, chile pepper powder & saute 2-3 minutes. Add ajwain & fenugreek. Cook until mixture is thick.

                    Raise heat to high and add shrimp. Cook 2-3 min. Add lemon juice & cilantro. Mix & remove from heat.

                    Enjoy the best Indian prawns dish ever over rice.

                    1. j
                      janet of reno

                      A very simple and delicious side dish is Kachumber, a form of indian salad. Unfortunately, its best when you can find good tomatoes, which could be a challenge this time of year. Anyway, its simple: take about a half large red onion, chop fine. Add about a cup and a half of carrots, peeled and sliced diagonally. Add two or three fresh tomatoes, chopped. Throw in a small handfull of chopped cilantro, a teaspoon of salt, a tablespoon of sugar, and about two teaspoons of ground cumin. Add a little ground coriander and if desired a little cayenne pepper. Toss and adjust seasonings. No fat to boot!! Let the salad sit at room temperature for a few minutes before serving. Fun variations include: add sliced radishes and/or daikon, or use different colors of carrots and/or tomatoes. Cherry tomatoes (sliced in half) are good too, and are sometimes better in winter.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: janet of reno

                        I would second kachumber, it is light and refreshing. There are a number of recipe/varieties for this salad.

                        1. re: Candy

                          i make one that's always a hit at my indian dinners: cherry or grape tomatoes halved and tossed with diced red onion, cilantro, lemon juice and chopped peanuts. Instead of the peanuts you can toss it with bhel poori mix, too.

                      2. n
                        Niki Rothman

                        Mmmm....love that saag paneer - I think that's what it's called - the spicy creamed spinach dish. Go to epicurious.com and do a search for it.

                        1. Madhur Jaffrey's World of the East Vegetarian Cooking has an excellent recipe for green beans with sesame and garlic. It would be great for a dinner party because you can blanch the green beans ahead of time and prep the spices and then it just takes a minute or two to heat up before you eat. Let me know if you'd like the recipe.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: sprout

                            sprout, could I ask for this recipe please? Thanks!

                            1. re: frobe

                              frobe: I don't know if you noticed, but the entry you refer to was posted in Feb of 2006. If nobody answers your request, I'll be glad to provide the recipe as I also have the World of the East Veg. Cooking by Jaffrey. It's one of my all-time favorite cookbooks.

                              I'll check back later tonight or tomorrow and post the recipe if nobody else has.